New Delhi: Taking note of the massive amount to plastic waste produced in the country, the speaker of Lok Sabha, Om Birla has suggested on Friday (November 22) that the members of Parliament (MPs) should take a pledge to shun single-use plastic. While addressing the Lower House of the Parliament, Speaker Om Birla said,
This house represents 130 crore people of the country and I think the entire House will agree with the fact that single-use plastic should be stopped. If the Parliament takes a pledge then the message will be delivered to the people of the country. We should take a pledge in the session to shun single-use plastic items. This will also send a message to the world that India’s Parliament has taken such a pledge.
The recommendation of the speaker was lauded by the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar who said that out of the total plastic waste generated per day, one-third remains uncollected. The uncollected waste remains scattered around for years and causes problems like choking of the drains, is part of waste burning among others, he further added. He said,
Uncollected waste is a huge environmental problem. This problem can be solved only by bringing a change in people’s habit of using and disposing of and improving waste collection.
During the discussion, the Union Environment Minister shared the plight of rag pickers who pick plastic and said that it takes more than 250 times of bending to pick one kilogram (Kg) of thin and small plastic wrappers, which is very tiring. Thus they only pick bigger plastic and the smaller ones remain littered, he said.
While responding to a question raised by MP Maneka Sanjay Gandhi on managing plastic waste, Minister Javadekar said,
There is a team constituted by CPCB and National Institute of Science and Technology who is devising new methods to treat plastic by turning it into oil. These methods are then conveyed to the municipal corporations for implementation.
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) November 22, 2019
Earlier in August, the Lok Sabha Secretariat banned the use of non-reusable plastic water bottles and other plastic items within the Parliament complex.
Plastic Waste: A Global Concern
According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), over 75 per cent of the plastic ever produced is already waste. Because of the poor management of plastic waste, about one-third of it is becoming land or marine pollution, says WWF. Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global network working towards a world free of plastic pollution, says that the problem is plastic is not biodegradeable and it is estimated that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight.